Branson's Most Visible Journalists (Top 3) Branson Missouri

1 Gary Groman - The Branson Courier

2. Cliff Sain - Branson Daily News

3. Kathryn Buckstaff - Springfield News-Leader

First Snow of the Year in Branson

Branson had it's first and earliest snow in years. The roads remained in good condition as little stuck with temperature near freezing throughout the day.

Driving to Branson - Beware the Speed Limits - Law Enforcement Is Out!

Kathryn Buckstaff, one of my favorite Branson resporters, published an interesting article in the Springfield Newsleader today. Apparently, the police will be wathing the 65 inlets to Branson carefully. Last week there was a fatal accident on the 65 freeway and it provides a temptation for drivers to speed as the highway's rural appearance makes it seem like a good place to speed. The article cites fines from 250 to 500 dollars being issued in construction zones on the way to and from Branson. Keep it safe and drive the speed limit this weekend as you come into Branson!

New Clothing Store in Branson

Proprietor Deborah Haskins recently opened a new store near Downtown Branson. The store is an unlikely sight following west coast urban fashion. Debbie travels throughout the country to find unique clothing lines for her boutique. Many of the lines she carries can’t be found anywhere in a hundred mile radius. Following trends in New York’s SoHo and off Melrose Hollywood boutiques, Tidepool Apparel boasts uniqueness in style. Tide Pool can be found on Pacific street – just a block away from where Business 65 and 76 Meet. The shop features trendy fashions with an emphasis on styles for the tastes of teens to twenty something’s. Debbie’s shop is intimate and features new inventory weekly through the Christmas season.

Cheap Flights to Branson Missouri Up Ahead

The House of representatives passed a measure guaranteeing 5 million in funds for the Springfield Branson regional airport.

Another measure supported by Kit Bond ensures cheaper flights to Missouri.

As Branson grows these measures will substantially help growth and an increase in tourism by providing access to the region.

Most people that visit Branson do so via car. Inexpensive air access to Branson will inevitably help Branson increase its market share and make trips to Branson much more convenient.

Silver Dollar City Announces Multi Million Dollar Expansion

The launch of Silver Dollar City's "Grand Exposition" will arrive 100 years after the St. Louis Worlds Fair. A press release was issued last week by Silver Dollar City announcing expansion to it's widely popular family owned theme park.

In the tradition of the magnificent expositions showcasing the technological wonders of the late 19th Century, Silver Dollar City presents an all-new development for 2006 – the Grand Exposition! An $8 million expansion in a new region of the theme park, the Grand Exposition recreates the pageantry of a triumphant American tour of discovery, including 10 new family rides that soar, whirl and fly.

As the traveling expositions of the 1880s drew people from hundreds of miles around to marvel at the latest mechanical innovations and American ingenuity, the Grand Exposition is a streetmosphere of excitement. The area will be a colorful destination where exposition-goers experience the collaboration of imagination, technology and entertainment. From elaborate gardens and dancing fountains to the grandiose calliope and the high-sailing ship Galleon, the Grand Exposition is a collection of attractions and technological wonders.

"The Grand Exposition opens a whole new region of the park encompassing two acres, where guests are transported back in time to experience the golden era of discovery and excitement of the World's Fairs and Expositions in the late 1800s," said Brad Thomas, Silver Dollar City General Manager. "In keeping with our hallmark of bringing the past to life, we've chosen the theme of a very grand and exciting era, one which evokes the elements of the St. Louis World's Fair and P.T. Barnum's Traveling Expositions, which came through Missouri in the late 1800s."

The new rides are being manufactured and styled in Italy specifically for Silver Dollar City, and will have a capacity of 5,000 passengers per hour. Rides include the five-story Wave Swinger for high-flying adventure; the ship-themed Galleon which sends riders nearly 60 feet in the air; the multi-dimensional Spinning Disk ride which travels 55 feet in the air as it spins, the twirling Tea Cups with a center control for interactive fun, the fast-paced Regetta, and a family roller coaster. Several rides with nature themes offer excitement for smaller kids.

Branson Home For Republican Fundraiser

Big Cedar Lodge will host a GOP fundraiser this weekend an aritle in the Columbia paper reported:

Gov. Matt Blunt, Senate President Pro Tem Michael Gibbons and House Speaker Rod Jetton are scheduled to appear at a high-dollar fundraiser for the state Republican Party. The event will be held at the Big Cedar Lodge, located about 10 miles south of Branson.

Party spokesman John Hancock confirmed the cost to attend will be "within the range" of $25,000 and said it’s a unique event for the GOP because most fundraisers are centered around a single lunch or dinner. He said the upcoming gathering will be a weekendlong event attended by "executive-level" supporters.


Branson Courier Takes Shot At Mayor

Personally, I think the people that write the news in this town are some of the most interesting people in our city.

Gary Groman aka "The Ole Seagull", is no stranger to controversy. He has a long history of participating in the online community, writes an editorial for a Branson Newspaper. Recently he's taken up blogging which has evolved into a separate newspaper. As of the last few weeks it appears his endorsement of time-share has slowed (their aren't any ads for time share related companies as of recent)

Politically, the question in Branson is not what party you belong to but just how conservative are you. On this front "The Ole Seagull" is a staunch conservative - ole fashioned values kinda of fella'. Recently he's come out in support of the tourist tax and spread a diatribe on gambling far throughout the state. The statement was issued under a "creative commons" style distribution method.

Outside of fishing and family values you can find him fired up about democracy. This is when I find his newsfeed fun. From traffic issues to his dubbing of the City political structure as the Brumafia - he's holding little sacred outside his own spiritual and political beliefs.

Yesterday, he took a shot at the Mayor -

The Nov. 4 edition of this paper contained a letter to the editor signed by Mayor Louis E. Schaefer expressing concerns about the Ole Seagull’s Sunday Oct. 16 column entitled “A question for Branson’s elected and appointed officials, Would you like to be treated this way?” The style and tenor of the letter was strangely reminiscent of a similar letter on the same topic that was published in the Sep. 29, 2004 edition of this paper. That letter was signed by City Administrator Terry Dody. Oh, and by the way, evidently the answer was “Yes.”

From the “get go,” let’s be clear on what the issue is. It’s not about a tree being cut down, annexing land, what’s in the minutes of meetings, the city requiring the removal of a “breakfast special sign” from a downtown restaurant that had been in place for years, some one being able to speak at public meetings or how they do it, the manner and way in which the liberty tree was removed, etc. To an Ole Seagull it’s about treating people the right way, the way things are done, and, what he believes is yet another example of how Branson is changing under the leadership of the man who seemingly controls its government in a Caesar like grip.

As you can imagine, making controversial statements doesn't make you popular with everyone. We live in a small town and the media has a profound affect on how we're viewed. Still, showing that democracy is alive in Branson is good for our image and the more we open dialogue - the more we're able to find creative solutions towards positive change.

Full Story
“Hail Caesar!” the theme for the “new” Branson?

Dolly Parton Opens Branson East

ROANOKE RAPIDS, N.C was dubbed Branson East by a local North Carolina reporter. This story came accross the wire over the weekend as Roanoke Rapids announced the oppening of a multi-million dollar entertainment complex.

The mayor reiterated the statement in the aritcle by saying "We're going to be biggier then Branson".

The Associated Press reported:

The theater will be the cornerstone of the planned 750-acre Carolina Crossroads Music and Entertainment District, which seeks to rival Branson, Mo., and Gatlinburg, Tenn., as a hub of country, pop, beach and gospel music.

The $129 million project is expected to create more than 12,000 jobs over the next five years. The first phase of the project, which includes Randy Parton's 1,500-seat theater, is to open in April 2007.

Dolly attended the groundbreaking celebration for the opening of her brother Randy Parton's theatre which is named after Randy himself.

Related Articles
Parton Attends Groundbreaking of Theater - Yahoo/AP

Branson Show sued For Copyright Infringement

The Springfield Daily News reported a lawsuit filed against 50's At The Hop and a collection of damages suggested up to $30,000 dollars per song. The article also noted other lawsuits against Branson Theaters. Apparently, Country Tonight was sued for singing Jingle Bells without a license.
The copyrighted songs reportedly performed on July 31 at "50's At The Hop" were "Rock Around The Clock," "It's My Party," "Unchained Melody," "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes," "Charlie Brown," "Witch Doctor" and "Are You Lonesome Tonight?"

Editors Note: Be careful where you sing the "Happy Birthday" song. This is a copyrighted in addition to the songs posted above.

Signs for the recently passed tourist tax can be found littered accross the landscape of Branson.
Photo by Dad

Ozark Hellbender Says Water Quality in Southwest Missouri is declining

The Ozark Hellbender population is on a serious decline. Herpetologists fear the entire population will be wiped out before a solution can be found to slow down or if it's possible to slow down the culprit.

Scientists agree this unique species will be eliminated if the water quality in Southern Missouri continues to stay on the decline. The St. Louis Zoo is has spent substantial energy towards the preservation of the species and is currently breeding the unique salamander in hopes they can one day re-introduce the Amphibian black into the population.

The species has sparked interest from several scientific disciplines as the toxins affecting the salamander are also toxic to humans.

The St. Louis Zoo reports the population has experienced and 80% decline in the last couple of decades.

As our region grows, managing waste and natural resources fall into the growing concern of infrastructure.

It's nice we have a booming real estate market and it's good we have Tiff Funds to help along with development - but when it comes down to the larger issues of protecting our natural resources (the foundation of our tourist market) who's going to foot the bill?

Branson Passes Tourist Tax - No One Came to the Victory Party

The other night I was waiting for word to come over the wire about Branson, Missouri's tourist tax. I was flabbergasted when I found the lack of headlines from our local papers. I found this quite bothersome being it was the biggest story of the day. Hmmm…. A lot of effort went into grass-roots measures to get the bill passed, after, a ghost town of silence, until today.
Today the Tourism Board met to determine how the money should be spent. Apparently, the tax doesn’t kick in until April. In lieu of the anticipated party – they’re figuring out how to manage the new funds.
Good Job
Branson Daily News - Tourism Board Plans for Future Marketing

Branson Real Estate boom spilling out of Branson

The Branson real estate market is too hot for the surrounding areas not to feel the heat. A recent article from the Baxter paper shed light on this article.

The Branson's market prices may will most likely adjust over the next few years; but the real estate market surrounding areas will adjust in the other directiono - for those living in the surrounding areas there's only one way ...up

Quote of the Week - By Dennis Hop - Owner of the Bunny Ranch

Dennis Hop, owner of one of America's only legal brothels; made this comment to Motel Williams:

I made my money in real estate. I made my money building time share - then I decided to go legit

Branson's Unfullfilled Dreams

Kathryn Buckstaff of the Sprinfield News-Leader wrote an interesting article about Branson in the Springfield paper today. See Branson Plans that fell through.

Branson Development - Huffman at it again

Another development in Branson...

This just in from the Branson Daily News -
A $300 million development is getting under way soon in northern Branson.

At a Branson Planning & Zoning meeting Tuesday, the commission gave initial approval of a planned development in Branson Hills that will include 800 homes, senior housing, retails stores and a golf course. According to Rick Huffman, managing partner of Branson Hills Development Company, LLC, the development will respond to heavy demands from the community.

"We've had an enormous response, just from those who are already in the Branson community and Springfield," Huffman said.

The development, which will get under way as soon as December, will be developed in three phases and feature homes that range in price from $150,000 to $2 million.

"It's one-and-a-half miles from Branson Landing," Huffman said. "It's right by (U.S. 65) so it's an easy trip to Springfield; there's going to be new shopping close by at Target and Home Depot; it's close to schools and the new recreation center. It's a community place."

Branson Netizen

Anyone remember the Netizen? I do. There was a time when this was the symol of a rising culture which was quickly eaten up by traditional media. I see people getting excited about technology again.

I see XML and RSS applications changing the way people think about the possibilities of computing. After 10 years in the industry I see a few things coming one of which is a dot com boom. Anyone else smell this?

Branson, Missouri sits forty miles from Arkansas. One of its trademarks is a hillbilly culture - with an online advertising expenditure in the millions.

Rebuilding New Orleans - House Rebublican Study Commitee

* Automatically suspend Davis-Bacon prevailing wage laws in disaster areas. (Reps. Marilyn Musgrave, Colorado, Tom Feeney, Florida, Jeff Flake, Arizona)
* Make the entire affected area a flat-tax free-enterprise zone. (Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin)
* Make the entire region an economic competitiveness zone (comprehensive tax incentives and waiving of regulations). (Rep. Todd Tiahrt, Kansas)
* Immediate, first-year business expensing in lieu of depreciation for all assets, both personal property and structures (buildings) in the affected areas.
* Allow net operating loss carry-backs for affected residents and businesses going back as many years as is needed to actualize the NOL.
* For residents and businesses located or investing in the affected area, their 2005 and 2006 capital gains and dividends rate should be zero.
* Individuals in the affected area should have a Section 911 (overseas earned income) exclusion that is uncapped.
* Waive the death tax for any deaths in the affected area between August 20, 2005-December 31, 2005.
* Provide limited liability protection for construction contractors who voluntarily provide services or equipment before a government contract is finalized. (Rep. Gary Miller, California, Rep. Tom Cole, Oklahoma)
* Repeal or waive restrictive environmental regulations, such as NEPA, that hamper rebuilding. (Heritage Foundation)
* Waive penalties for early withdrawals from tax-advantaged savings (like IRAs and 401k accounts). (Heritage Foundation)
* Eliminate any regulatory barriers and other disincentives that block faith-based and other charitable organizations from engaging in the recovery and reconstruction process. (Orthodox Union, Heritage Foundation)
* Increase the amount of rehabilitation tax credits by 30 percent in census tracts where the greatest poverty exists, and for smaller projects where raising capital for reconstruction is the most difficult, and where there is the most critical need for housing and neighborhood reinvestment. (Rep. Phil English, Pennsylvania)
* Allow non-itemizers to deduct chartable contributions to disaster relief. (Rep. Ron Paul, Texas)
* Give school-choice vouchers for displaced children. (Rep. Ted Poe, Texas)
* Provide tax (and other such) incentives to lenders if they provide funding for school and other construction.
* Reduce, suspend, or eliminate tariffs on Canadian lumber, Mexican cement, and other materials used for new construction.
* Permit an additional advance refunding for all governmental bonds issued by or on the behalf of entities contained in the disaster area as declared by the president.
* Eliminate the volume cap for private-activity bonds in the disaster area and permit the use of private-activity bonds for all transportation-related infrastructure in the disaster area.
* Eliminate the income and home price limitation for mortgages funded by tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds for a five-year period.
* Allow a non-profit corporation to issue tax-credit bonds--which provide a return in the form of a federal tax credit--and allocate the proceeds for school rehabilitation and reconstruction.
* Streamline the environmental hurdles to building new oil refineries. (Rep. John Shadegg, Arizona)
* Make it easier for small refineries to increase capacity. (Kansas's Tiahrt)
* Allow more offshore oil drilling. (Texas's Poe)
* Pay the royalties for new offshore oil drilling to the local governments nearest to shore. (Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, California)
* Allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
* Temporarily suspend the gas tax. (Arizona's John Shadegg)
* Permanently reduce the gas tax.
* Waive or repeal gas formulation (e.g. oxygenation) requirements under the Clean Air Act and related regulations. (Heritage Foundation)
* Encourage the production of renewable fuels (biodiesel, ethanol.)
* Encourage private-market projects to recover usable energy from oil shale.
* Strengthen the existing investment tax credit for Enhanced Oil Recovery (using modern technology improvements to extract oil from previously unavailable sources) in section 43 of the IRS Code.

Source: House Republican Study Committee

Branson - Research Newspaper Archives

Have you ever read an article in the local paper and want a copy of it? This morning I made my way down to the Branson Daily News to get a copy of an article printed a month ago.

Here's the scoop - The Branson Daily News keeps copies of all newspapers for a decade back. Copies of the original paper can be purchased for 50 cents a piece. Anything older than 10 years is available on microfilm at the College of the Ozarks Library.

Another note on College of the Ozarks - if you live in the community you can access some very powerful databased their as well. Personally, I find access to the legal tools a great resource that can save you thousands of dollars on data you might otherwise have to have an attorney to access.

Branson - Springfield - Ozark Soccer

A young athlete and former Branson Pirate made an inquiry to Branson High School about the possible starting of a soccer program. The response "Soccer is a Communist Sport". Hmmm.

Several other individual efforts to start a soccer program at the high school were met with same result. I've come to find out Soccer is alive and well in the Ozarks!